\ ˈtrip How to pronounce trip (audio) \
tripped; tripping

Definition of trip

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to catch the foot against something so as to stumble
2 : to make a mistake or false step (as in morality or accuracy)
3a : to dance, skip, or caper with light quick steps
b : to walk with light quick steps
4 : to stumble in articulation when speaking
5 : to make a journey
6a : to actuate a mechanism
b : to become operative
7a : to get high on a psychedelic drug (such as LSD) : turn on often used with out
b slang : freak sense 3b

transitive verb

1a : to cause to stumble often used with up
b : to cause to fail : obstruct often used with up
2 : to detect in a misstep, fault, or blunder also : expose usually used with up
3 : to release or operate (a mechanism) especially by releasing a catch or detent trip the fire alarm
4 : to raise (an anchor) from the bottom so as to hang free
5a : to pull (a yard) into a perpendicular position for lowering
b : to hoist (a topmast) far enough to enable the fid to be withdrawn preparatory to housing or lowering
6 archaic : to perform (a dance) lightly or nimbly
trip the light fantastic



Definition of trip (Entry 2 of 2)

b : a single round or tour on a business errand
2a : an intense visionary experience undergone by a person who has taken a psychedelic drug (such as LSD)
b : an exciting or unusual experience the party was a trip
3 : absorption in or obsession with an interest, attitude, or state of mind a guilt trip on a nostalgia trip
4 : a faltering step caused by stumbling
5 : a stroke or catch by which a wrestler is made to lose footing
7 : a quick light step
8a : the action of tripping mechanically
b : a device for tripping a mechanism (such as a catch or detent)

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of trip in a Sentence

Verb He deliberately tried to trip me. The dancers tripped off the stage. Noun They got back from their trip yesterday. a trip around the world He was on an acid trip. an ankle injury caused by a trip
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Especially if your friend is a first-time parent, a lot of baby gear is specifically designed to trip the paranoia trigger in their lizard brain. Adrienne So, Wired, "17 Practical Gift Ideas for New Parents," 16 Nov. 2020 Hojnicki fears people will trip over the curbs that encircle the rain gardens. Kimberly Fornek,, "Western Springs residents say no to rain gardens," 12 Nov. 2020 Yulissa Garcia-Serrato and her classmates were supposed to meet the former Croatian president during their study abroad trip to the Balkan country this summer. Maya Goldman, WSJ, "How to Study Abroad When You Can’t Leave Home," 8 Nov. 2020 Even a short-term failure of the financial system, Tainter worries, might be enough to trip supply chains to a halt. Ben Ehrenreich, New York Times, "How Do You Know When Society Is About to Fall Apart?," 4 Nov. 2020 Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Rudolph W. Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, urged the president to be aggressive with Biden - to push him off his talking points and trip him up. Author: Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey, Matt Viser, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump’s defeat was shaped by same instincts that boosted him in 2016," 7 Nov. 2020 Baseball players were being tested for infections daily, and the test administered under MLB guidelines on Monday detected a viral load high enough to trip it. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, "Q&A: Did Justin Turner put Dodgers at risk by celebrating their World Series championship?," 29 Oct. 2020 There are various ways the process can trip up applicants. Lydia Depillis, ProPublica, "Millions Still Haven’t Gotten Stimulus Checks, Including Many Who Need Them Most," 30 Oct. 2020 To this end, Owhadi and his colleagues have worked on five conceptual variations of the double-slit experiment, each designed to trip up a simulation. Anil Ananthaswamy, Scientific American, "Do We Live in a Simulation? Chances Are about 50–50," 13 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The two winners will meet next week with a trip to the championship game in Tuscaloosa at stake. Ben Thomas |, al, "No school like ‘old school?’ 4 Hall of Fame coaches meet in Class 5A quarterfinals," 18 Nov. 2020 It was always expected that Tyrese Haliburton’s NBA career would begin with a summertime trip to Las Vegas. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, "NBA Draft: Inside the Las Vegas bubble where prospects chased their hoop dreams," 16 Nov. 2020 Oregon will open its 2020-21 Pac-12 slate against Utah and Colorado the weekend of Dec. 4-7, travel to Corvallis and round out 2020 with a trip to the Washington schools Dec. 18-21. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Oregon women’s basketball to open 2020-21 Pac-12 schedule against mountain schools Dec. 4-7," 16 Nov. 2020 Illinois will seek back-to-back wins with a trip to Nebraska (1-2, 1-2 Big Ten) next Saturday, who just secured its first win over Penn State (0-4, 0-4 Big Ten). Matt Sugam, Star Tribune, "McCourt's late field goal sends Illinois past Rutgers 23-20," 14 Nov. 2020 Once upon a time, Notre Dame won a huge football game against the No.-1 team in the country with a trip to Boston College up next. Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, "These five games in Week 11 will have the biggest impact on College Football Playoff," 13 Nov. 2020 With a trip to play the Tennessee Titans on the itinerary, Nagy first had to reshuffle his offensive line after another wave of injuries. Dan Wiederer,, "Chicago Bears Week 9 storylines: Mitch Trubisky’s recovery prognosis, a quarterback change that worked and potential NFL playoff expansion," 7 Nov. 2020 In a rematch of last year’s regional final, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy again met Versailles with a trip to the state semifinals on the line. Scott Springer, The Enquirer, "All-GGCL girls volleyball regional final: MND heads back to state downing Ursuline," 7 Nov. 2020 For her 40th birthday, Kim Kardashian decided to surprise her family and a few close friends with a trip to a private island. Natalie Morin,, "The Best Memes From Kim Kardashian’s Private Island Birthday Snafu," 29 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trip.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of trip


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 3a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 5

History and Etymology for trip


Middle English trippen, from Anglo-French treper, triper, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English treppan to tread — more at trap

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about trip

Time Traveler for trip

Time Traveler

The first known use of trip was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for trip

Last Updated

25 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Trip.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for trip


How to pronounce trip (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of trip

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to hit your foot against something while you are walking or running so that you fall or almost fall
: to cause (someone who is walking or running) to fall or almost fall
literary : to dance or walk with light, quick steps



English Language Learners Definition of trip (Entry 2 of 2)

: a journey to a place
: a short journey to a store, business, office, etc., for a particular purpose
informal : the experience of strange mental effects (such as seeing things that are not real) that is produced by taking a very powerful drug (such as LSD)


\ ˈtrip How to pronounce trip (audio) \
tripped; tripping

Kids Definition of trip

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to catch the foot against something so as to stumble : cause to stumble
2 : to make or cause to make a mistake Their tricky questions tripped us up.
3 : to move (as in dancing) with light quick steps She tripped lightly around the room.
4 : to release (as a spring) by moving a catch



Kids Definition of trip (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an instance of traveling from one place to another a trip to Europe
2 : a brief errand having a certain aim or being more or less regular a trip to the dentist
3 : the action of releasing something mechanically
4 : a device for releasing something by tripping a mechanism

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on trip

What made you want to look up trip? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!